Expert advice to keep slug population under control

Are you unwell of slugs taking in your yard?

There are a couple varieties of slugs typically discovered in Washington state that can come across their way into your back garden, patio, deck and even within your house.

Slugs can be found calendar year-spherical in Washington and are more frequently viewed in the winter, as throughout hotter months they hide less than vegetation, boards and other shelters, Jim Kropf, Washington Point out University’s Pierce County pure methods program director, wrote in an e mail.

The problems slugs can cause in your yard “can be devastating,” Kropf wrote, primarily in spring seasons when plants can “be eaten down to the stems and leaf mid-vein immediately after major feeding,” as slugs adore to snack on your flowers, veggies and other plants in your garden.

To enable you get treatment of your garden and plants, in this article are a couple of things to know about Washington state slugs.

Varieties of slugs in Washington

According to Kropf, some typical slug species are the European slug, the gray garden slug and the excellent grey garden slug.

WSU’s Snohomish County Master Gardener extension plan warns of 5 species of slugs in the condition, together with the banana slug, European black slug, fantastic grey garden slug, milky slug and greenhouse slug.

Banana slug
Banana Slug on a mattress of fir and hemlock needles. Vince Barnes Getty Visuals/iStockphoto

Banana slugs are the next-greatest slugs in the globe, can improve up to eight inches long and are recognised for their yellow shade. European black slugs are not generally black and are commonly 6 inches extensive. The excellent grey backyard slug is a cannibalistic slug that eats banana slugs and can transfer four periods faster than its prey.

European black slug
European Black Slug CasarsaGuru Getty Photos

Milky slugs are named right after the milky slime they produce, but are also really harming to strawberry vegetation, grain fields and vegetable crops. Greenhouse slugs prefer living in greenhouses and normally burrow beneath plants to consume their roots.

The Great Gray Garden Slug
Good Grey back garden slug Andreas Häuslbetz Getty Photos/iStockphoto

Two other sorts of slugs that are commonly observed in Washington point out are the blue-grey taildropper and the noticed taildropper, in accordance to the Washington Section of Fish and Wildlife.

The blue-grey taildropper slug is a rare species but is recognized for its blue and gray coloring. The slugs can improve up to 1.25 inches long and their diet plans are made of 90% fungi, as perfectly as plant components and lichen. The slugs generally stay in soaked forested regions and have been described in the Puget Audio-Willamette Trough, Cowlitz County and LewisCounty.

The spotted taildropper is a big slug that can mature up to 3 inches very long and has a light-weight brown coloration with black spots. The slugs are usually located in soaked forested parts and in coastal fog zones near the ocean. The two blue-grey taildropper slugs and noticed taildropper slugs are hermaphroditic, that means they have both male and female organs and can in some cases self-fertilize to populate their habitat.

Slugs love to consume bouquets and ornamentals these kinds of as dahlias, roses, chrysanthemums and several much more, but their favourite plants to try to eat are greens this kind of as lettuce and cabbage, according to WSU Skagit County Extension Application Master Gardener Harriet Custer. As slugs like to continue to be underground, they also normally take in the roots of plants and bulbs.

How to get rid of slugs

Klopf has a several ideas for home gardeners to help stop slugs from causing damage:

Clean up weeds and debris to eradicate feasible shelters for the slugs.

Minimize down any tall grass and weeds and clear up rocks, boards, and other feasible shelters.

Preserve slug predators in your garden, this kind of as birds, ducks, garter snakes, beetles and frogs, and avoid working with broad-spectrum insecticides that could get rid of them.

Trap slugs with cans of stale beer partly sunk into the ground. This is from time to time known as a slug hotel.

Hand-decide on and destroy slugs when they are uncovered.

Place up physical obstacles that retain slugs away from your plants.

Use chemical bait.

As chemical baits will kill slugs, they are also destructive to other wildlife in your back garden.

HGTV also endorses a few techniques to get rid of slugs in your backyard garden:

Established up a shaded shelter for slugs to sleep underneath, and right after it gets darkish, go acquire the slugs and spot them in a container of soapy h2o or an ammonia resolution. Slugs can also be captivated to slices of citrus.

Fill a spray bottle with a vinegar solution of one particular cup of h2o and a fifty percent cup of vinegar to spray slugs and snails.

Put copper strips or copper tape all-around your yard, and maintain it from tarnishing. Copper shocks slugs that occur into speak to with it. This approach is remarkably-helpful.

Grow plants that prevent slugs, these kinds of as rosemary, lavender, sage, wormwood, ferns, hydrangea and Japanese anemone.

Use baits or liquid traps.

Examine and go around welcome mats, rocks, mulches, decks and other destinations exactly where slugs may perhaps be keeping.

This tale was at first published Oct 26, 2022 11:40 AM.

Alyse Messmer-Smith is a service journalism reporter at the Bellingham Herald. If you like stories like this, you should take into account supporting our do the job with a subscription to our newspaper.